Romi Sussman

Don’t You Love Your Son?

picture by Romi Sussman
picture by Romi Sussman

I just dropped my 17-year-old off for his tzav rishon, his initial army intake appointment. Through my tears (obviously, because who isn’t crying these days), I told him to do his absolute best and to remember that after his effort, it’s out of his hands.

And then I thought about what moms around the world would probably be saying about me right now.

Don’t you love your son?

How could you possibly be dropping him off at his army intake appointment now, when everyday we wake up to more soldier deaths, to more funerals?

Don’t you love your son?

Yes, indeed, I love my son.

And I also love waking up in the morning.

I love drinking my coffee while watching the sun rise over the mountains, the same view that my ancestors have had for thousands of years.

I love hearing Hebrew, the language of our people, in the streets as I greet my neighbors, the grocery store check-out worker, the security guard.

I love watching the small children, as young as five, walking independently to school with their floppy backpacks and their soccer balls.

I love going to the humasia at lunchtime and ordering delicious, hot humus and fresh pita. And I love watching the groups of people who walk in including religious families, secular friends, army buddies.

I love going to a Hapoel basketball game and watching Jewish professional players and thousands of Jewish fans cheering for their favorite team.

I love hearing makot on the beach as two middle aged men hit the ball back and forth, and spending the day watching beach goers of every stripe enjoy the hot, Middle East sun.

I love calling the Jewish plumber, my neighbor, when we have an issue and getting a bracha (blessing) from him that my soldiers should remain safe.

I love knowing that the Kotel, the Western Wall, is just a half hour drive from my house and the heart of Tel Aviv is but one hour away.

I love eating delicious, Israeli-made ice cream with my children after school and taking them for a treat to the modern, beautiful outdoor mall in our area.

I love dancing at a wedding that brings together an Ashkenazi immigrant bride and a 4th generation Yemenite groom.

I love hiking the Israeli Trail as a family, exploring the hidden caves, smelling the blooming flowers, and basking in the glorious views.

I love hearing about the hikes my children take throughout the country, from Metula to Eilat, and from the river to the sea, exploring and growing with their schools and their friends.

So, yes, I’ll tell you. I love my son.

And I love all of the other sons and daughters, too, who will be at that tzav rishon today.

And if I continue to love them, and continue to love my life, then I have no choice but to drop my son off for his army intake today.

Because as the world is today, we have absolutely no choice but to fight for the right to breath in our ancient homeland among our people. It’s not the choice the majority of us would make, if given the opportunity to truly find a way towards peace.

But it’s the only choice we have right now. And it appears to be the only choice we’ve been given for our future.

So, I send my son, the son that I love as deeply as anyone else loves their son, to his army intake today. And I do so with my tears and my fears, my pride and my hope.

Because I also love my country, and my life.

And I pray that he, and all of the sons and daughters that we love so dearly, will help us in our fight for survival.

It’s the only option we have to live as free, breathing people in Israel, today and tomorrow.

About the Author
Romi Sussman is a teacher and writer. When she's not at her computer, she's juggling raising six boys ages 13-23 and conquering daily life as an Olah. She enjoys blogging here and on her personal blog at
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